If you fail the exam

We understand that it is disappointing to fail a social work licensing exam. When you are ready to begin preparing for your next attempt, we suggest you begin with the unofficial score report you received at the test center. It breaks down your performance by exam content area and serves as a good resource as you make a study plan.

90-day waiting period

ASWB policy states that candidates must wait 90 days between exam attempts. This waiting period exists for exam security reasons. It also benefits you because it sets aside time to prepare for your next attempt.

You may request a waiver that allows you to retake the exam before the end of the 90-day period if you meet all of the the following criteria:

  • The state or provincial board where you are applying for a license allows waivers.
  • Your most recent exam score was within five correct answers of the passing score.
  • Your current job or a job offer is at risk because you have not passed the exam.You must provide a letter from an employer:
    • On the employer’s letterhead
    • With an original signature from the supervisor or hiring manager
    • Stating that you will lose your current position or a job offer will be withdrawn if you do not pass your exam

Candidates may not receive more than two waivers for any single examination category.

Submit a request to waive the waiting period

Next steps

When you are ready to retake the exam:

  1. Contact ASWB’s Candidate Services Center. The representative can tell you whether you need further approval from your social work board to retake the exam.
  2. If you have nonstandard testing arrangements, the representative can tell you if the arrangements are still valid.
  3. Wait seven to ten days after your last exam before registering again.
  4. Register with ASWB and pay the exam fee.
  5. Receive your Authorization to Test email.
  6. Schedule your testing appointment with Pearson VUE.

Note: Some licensing boards limit the number of times an applicant may take the exam.

Download the Candidate Handbook

Register for the exam

If you have requested to waive the 90-day waiting period, do not register until your waiver is either granted or denied.

You may register for your next exam attempt any time after ASWB receives your official exam results, provided you don’t need further approval from your state or province.

Your exam fee will be due when you register.

Scheduling with Pearson VUE

You may schedule your new testing appointment with Pearson VUE after you have received your NEW Authorization to Test email. You must schedule a testing date between the eligibility date and the expiration date in the Authorization to Test email.

Your new test date must be at least 90 days after your last attempt, unless you have received a waiver for the waiting period.